Garut, W Java (ANTARA) - The West Java police continues to investigate the main cause of a wildfire that ravaged bushes and trees of the Tegal Alun Block of Mount Papandayan's conservation area on Sunday evening, a police officer stated.

"This forest fire case is still under investigation," Cisurupan Police Chief 1st Inspector Asep Saepudin noted here on Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, the wildfire was still burning, but its flames were seen getting lesser in intensity as compared to that observed on Sunday evening. Several police officers had been dispatched to the affected area to conduct investigation into the fire.

The Cisurupan police officers also joined a team of personnel from related agencies and local communities that were attempting to put out the fire by using limited tools, Saepudin remarked.

The wildfire occurred in the middle of Mount Papandayan and was far from villages. As a result, efforts to extinguish the fire were replete with challenges, as fire-fighting equipment could not reach the affected area, he explained.

Meanwhile, Head of Garut District's Disaster Mitigation Agency Aah Anwar Saefulloh stated that Sunday evening's wildfire ravaged bushes and trees in the Tegal Alun Block area of this 2,665-meter-high volcano.

Campers commonly go camping in the area where the wildfire occurred.

"Maybe there are campers going camping there," he remarked.

Saefulloh stated that he could not as yet calculate the width of the burned area.

Mount Papandayan is located in Cisurupan Sub-district, Garut District, West Java Province. A wildfire occurred in the same location in Tegal Alun Block in 2015, he remarked.

ANTARA had reported earlier that amid this year's dry season, Mount Bromo in East Java Province also experienced several land and forest fires.

According to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Center (BB TNBTS), the wildfires damaged 504 hectares and resulted in several tourist access points to the Mount Bromo area being forced to close down.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has projected that this year's dry season would follow the same pattern as the one seen in 2019.

A total of 28 percent of regions in Indonesia, which include 194 seasonal zones (ZOM) determined by the agency, have been forecast to experience the dry season from June this year.

BMKG Head Dwikorita Karnawati stated that a strengthened El Nino phenomenon due to the positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) could trigger a drought during the dry season in Indonesia.

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Translator: Feri P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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